Social Media – length isn’t the issue

Social Media – how long should you spend on it?

I’ve just read a comment (by someone who will remain nameless) stating that if social media isn’t yielding results, you’re not spending enough time on it. What arrant nonsense. If you follow that way of thinking through to its logical conclusion (and I don’t think that logic has much to do with the original daft comment), if you’re spending a couple of hours a day using social media ineffectively, you could end up wasting your entire day using it ineffectively if the simple answer was to spend more time on it. What tosh.

The two vital questions

The answer to the question ‘how much time should I spend on social media?’ is another question, two in fact – what do you want to achieve with it, and how will you know when it’s working? These are always my first questions when working with a client to compile a social media strategy (more about our social media services here).

An hour spent aimlessly noodling about on Twitter or idly browsing Facebook posts is pretty much wasted time you’ll never get back to develop your company. Half an hour spent communicating with clients or suppliers on Twitter, listening to the hot topics in your sector and running focussed searches (Twitter is excellent for these too), uploading a how-to video to YouTube and contributing something helpful to a thread on LinkedIn will be time far better invested.

There’s a danger in the ‘spend more time on it’ attitude that social media is being viewed as an end in itself. If you spend additional hours trying to ‘get it right’ on LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+, who’s looking after your customers and answering the phones? Is time spent on social media driving more customers to you, or just a bit of fun? Fun on social media is allowed, really it is, it’s okay, but as a plank of your business marketing a close eye must be kept on ROI.

So what it boils down to is it’s not how long it is, it’s what you do with it. Twas always thus.

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